Somebody to Lean On

an up close and personal interview with Mrs. Brown, a pillar of the Westminster Community students can lean on


Elijah Schmidt

Mrs. Brown sits in the Hub while petting Millie. She enjoys having Millie back for the students.

“Lean on me, when you’re not strong,” said Bill Withers, American Singer-Songwriter. 


We all need someone to lay our heads on, we all need to swallow our pride to show our needs and ask for help. Whether that person is within the bounds of school, church, or your very home, such a person builds communities and spreads congeniality. For many students such a person is Director of Student Life, Susie Brown. 


Susie Brown was always a guaranteed source of smiling optimism when you were groggily walking to [the] first period. She always said, ‘Hello!’ when she saw you walking through the hall and made you feel like you belonged,” said Paul Schmidt, Westminster Alumni. 


My own brother, Paul Schmidt, Class of 2010, has personally been forever imprinted by this Messenger of Christ. It has been nearly eleven years since my brother graduated and yet he vividly remembers the goodwill shown to him by Mrs. Brown, the constant positivity and warmth that she as an Image Bearer emits. Not only that but she still is affecting students and faculty to this day. “She’s super funny and really likable,” said Katie Brown, Freshman. Through her constant hilarity and happy spirits Brown has ushered in a sense of belonging to students, especially as highschoolers become more and more insecure about the enigma known as fitting in. 


Mrs. Brown and her family became a part of the Westminster Community in 1996, when her oldest son started eight grade. Brown was head of the Booster Club and even then she was an important part of life at Westminster. Seven years later she joined the staff in 2003. Since that time she has become the Director of Student Life, but beyond the title what does a Director of Student Life do? 


“Students used to ask me, ‘Do you just stand around drinking coffee all day?’” joked Susie Brown. Brown does anything and everything, from coordinating Senior Service to helping with STUCO, to 8th Grade Leadership, to supervising lunches, and a new addition to her workload: helping organize the community aspect of Pawprint Coffee. 


Overall, Susie Brown has played an instrumental role in shaping the atmosphere at the Academy. 


Brown went deeper and explained what her message for highschoolers is. She encourages students to get out of their comfort zone, that we as highschoolers should be open to branching out while also growing in our own faith. “One of my old pastors would say, ‘When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.’” Brown explained. So whether you are smart or unwitting, athletic or sluggish, beautiful or rough, we all need that person. I speak for the entire Westminster Community when I say she is someone who upholds Westminster Principles like a pillar. 


Sometimes in our lives, We all have pain, We all have sorrow…”